APP OF THE DAY: Battery Widget Reborn review (Android)

Battery life is one of the biggest issues facing modern smartphones. Our thirst for more power, bigger displays, slimmer designs and a constant connection means that batteries have to work harder than ever.

While there are lots of ways to save power, just knowing what’s going on in your device is always useful. Thrust into the spotlight, having been shown on the first shot of the new Google Nexus wireless charger (then swapped out for Google Now), today’s App of the Day is all about battery.

Battery Widget Reborn (beta)

Format
Android
Price
Free/£1.99
Where
Google Play

There are plenty of apps that want to help you with your battery monitoring on Android, but few are as elegant visually as Battery Widget Reborn. The simple Holo-themed app fits Android like a glove, looking the part in every sense.

The app essentially tracks the remaining power in your device and gives you instant access to those statistics, as well as giving you a notification at a glance and a widget to match.

You’ll be able to drag down the notifications bar to get to, first, a graph showing the declining life of your battery, but second, toggles for power controls, which is really useful if, as with HTC, those controls aren’t part of the UI. It can all be customised, so you get to see the toggles you want, or the stats that interest you most.

The app itself has four main sections. These basically cover battery info, battery history, notifications and settings.

Battery info gives you a nice big display with how much life is left, with a link again to hardware toggles and settings, as well as the Android battery usage page. Battery history displays graphically how power has been expended over time, as well as listing the rate of discharge and longevity stats - like how long your battery typically lasts.

Then you have controls for the notifications area where you can customise what you’re shown, select the toggles you want and so on. Finally you have the settings, which will let you engage a power-saving mode, and the hardware you might want to automatically turn off when that mode is in use.

This last section will let you allocate a time when your phone switches into night mode, with the option to mute and turn off things like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, data and background syncing to save power.

Some of the features that Battery Widget Reborn offers are now available in some devices, such as the Sony Xperia Z which offers all this and more, but we still like the way the information is presented.

And yes, there's a widget too, which can be customised exactly to your liking with the ability to change the thickness of the lines and the information it displays.

Ultimately, Battery Widget Reborn won't actually save you power, but will give you a good idea of how long your battery will survive under current conditions and how long you'll need to recharge it. There's a free version (linked above) which is listed as a limited "beta" version, as well as a £1.99 paid for version if you're feeling generous.



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